And Now NASCAR Fans, Heeere’s Clint!

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 28 2018

Driver Clint Bowyer shared a tasty beverage with fans after Monday’s win in Martinsville. After that, he shared his thoughts with the media. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Jim Fluharty)

It was about 15 years ago and Clint Bowyer was sitting at a table in one of Kansas City’s hippest restaurants located in one of the hippest sections of town. He was dressed exactly in keeping with what he was; the son of a tow track driver who himself had worked, until very recently, in a body shop at a car dealership in rural Kansas.


In his decidedly non-hip jeans and plaid, cotton, short-sleeve shirt, Bowyer looked out of place back then in that restaurant, which was/is owned by television celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich.

He sounded out of place, too, though in a oddly refreshing way. He was a little too loud for the lunchtime hipsters mixed with business types crowd, but the things he was saying were playing well with those at his table – “those” being fellow young driver Carl Edwards, a PR person and a reporter or two.

A lot has changed for Bowyer since that day at “Lidia’s”. Just not the essence of the man. Old Clint is still Old Clint.

That much was clear on Monday when, after winning the NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville, he stood in victory lane with his young son in one arm and a huge, like, 400-gallon can of beer in the hand at the end of his other arm.

He did his TV thing, meteing out dollops of folksy wit blended with well-shaken emotion. There were even a few tears.

That done, it was off to the media center and Showtime.

Bowyer did not disappoint. Take these press conference bits…please.

On his past performances at Martinsville: “We got close so many times.  I made a mistake and wrecked that Jeff Gordon guy and Jimmie Johnson, whoever the hell that is.  And then really, really screwed up and pissed a lot of people off.”

On drivers being athletes: “Hell, we ain’t athletes, we’ve got power steering.”

On 2017, his first year at Stewart-Haas Racing:  “We got close. We just had too many valleys in between the peaks.”

On the possibility of going to the NCAA basketball tournament’s Final Four, in which his beloved Kansas Jayhawks are playing: “When is it?  It’s this weekend, right?  It’s Monday.  Hey, babe (asking his wife if can go), I mean, this is a positive thing.  Can I ride this wave of momentum and make it?  It’s KU.  Sounds like there’s no chance that that’s going to happen.  I had my best friend and their two kids here for a week, seven days, and she enlightened me that that was a lot on her plate. So I’d say that, yeah, I’m going to be watching in my basement.”

On being reminded he had not won in 190 starts: “God, really?  Did you have to say that? This is my boss (Greg Zipadelli, who was sitting next to him), know what I mean?”

On asked if he would party after his win: “I was thinking about going to bed. That’s a lie. Going to the hospital. That would be a safer measure for me right now, jumping in whatever ambulance is tell here and tell them – just beg them to take me to the hospital.”

On seeing his older, bigger, much bigger, huge, brother in the grandstands as he race at Martinsville: “You didn’t even have to worry about putting him in like bright orange or anything.  It didn’t matter what color he was in, you could pick him out of the crowd, and he’d be telling you what it was, and I’m not lying that going down the back straightaway, he’s always been usually back there in front of my bus, and it’s somebody that you can see, and it’s just that calming thing or whatever.  It was like, I thought of Lakeside (Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.) as soon as I saw him.”

On being quiet on the radio late in the race: “I was busy, dammit.  That’s Kyle Busch in your mirror.  That car presents pretty big in the rear view mirror and is a hard one to keep in the rear view mirror.  Yeah, I even got a little cotton mouth that last run.  I needed a drink of water, and I wasn’t going to let of the steering wheel to get that.”

On celebrating at the track with fans and teammate and being asked if the party is over: “Hell no. It ain’t even dark yet.”

On what the night will look like: “I will say Harvick’s beers, there’s no way his little skinny ass could – these (oversized cans of beer) are stovepipes.  That lady right there, she’s like, ‘Will you chug that for NASCAR.com?’  It’s a damn stovepipe.  I’ve been drinking a long time, there ain’t nobody that could chug a stovepipe and give an interview afterwards.”

And with that, it was; Good night everybody. Drive safe and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 28 2018
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